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Harvard Step Test (Monitor The Development of The Athlete's Cardiovascular System)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Harvard Step Test (Monitor The Development of The Athlete's Cardiovascular System)

The objective of this test is to monitor the development of the athlete's cardiovascular system.

Required resources
To undertake this test you will require:
  • Gym bench (45cm high)
  • Stop watch
  • Assistant.
Harvard Step Test
How to conduct the test
The Harvard step test is conducted as follows:
  • Step up on to a standard gym bench once every 2 seconds for 5 minutes (150 steps)
  • 1 minute after finishing the test take your pulse rate (bpm) - Pulse1
  • 2 minutes after finishing the test take your pulse rate (bpm) - Pulse2
  • 3 minutes after finishing the test take your pulse rate (bpm) - Pulse3.
Analysis
Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.
Using the three pulse rate your level of fitness can be determined as follows: 
  • Result - 3000/(pulse! + pulse2 + pulse3).
Normative data for the Harvard step test
The following table is for 16 year old athletes:

Gender
Excellent
Above Average
Average
Below Average
Poor
Male
>90
80-90
65-79
55-64
<55
Female
>86
76-86
61-75
50-60
<50
Table Reference : McArdle W.D et al, Essential of Exercise Physiology. 2000
Target group
This test is suitable for active and sedentary athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability
Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test.

Validity
There are published tables to relate results to a potential level of fitness and the correlation is high.

Reference
Mackenzie, Brian. 2005. 101 Perforamnce Evalution Test. Electric World Plc. London.